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Follow these tips to stay safe and save energy during winter.
1. Don’t overstuff your refrigerator. Stacking holiday leftovers on top of each other and squeezing extra containers of food onto every refrigerator shelf will prevent air from circulating. That forces the appliance’s compressor to work harder and use more electricity.
2. Don’t crank the thermostat way up to heat a cold house in a hurry. Turning the heat up to 90 degrees won’t warm a 60-degree house any quicker than turning it up to 67 degrees.
3. Don’t run bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans any longer than you have to. Flip them on to clear smoke while cooking and steam while showering.
4. Don’t use a barbecue grill or a propane patio heater indoors, even if your central heating system is on the fritz. This is a fire hazard and can expose you to carbon monoxide poisoning.
5. Don’t stop using ceiling fans. They can save energy during winter. The trick: Set the spin direction to pull cool air up. Heat rises, so in the winter, the blades should spin clockwise to move warm air toward the walls and down into the room.
6. Don’t let your fireplace suck warm air out of the flue. Keep the damper closed when not in use and consider getting an insert to help heat radiate into the home.
7. Don’t use the same thermostat setting when you’re away for when you’re home. Decrease the temperature setting by 10 degrees while you are gone to save big.
8. Don’t leave lights on in an empty room. Install automatic sensors to help ensure the lights go out when a room is vacant.
9. Don’t continue using old lightbulbs. LEDs can provide the same amount of light with much less energy.
10. Don’t turn up the water heater temperature. Keep the setting at 120 degrees to conserve energy and reduce the risk of scalding.